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Bevor: M.4B-1939

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Object information


Unknown (Production)


Bevor, for wear with a sallet in a type of joust known in Germany as the Scharfrennen, which was fought with pointed lances in an open field. Formed in one-piece with a high medially-ridged upper half shaped to the chin and neck, and a deep lower half extending down the chest. The upper edge, which rises to its centre, has a plain, angular, outward turn. The lower edge, which has a truncated cusp at its centre is bevelled. The cusp is pierced with a pair of rivet-holes for the attachment of a hasp, while the outer ends of the lower edge are each pierced with a large bolt-hole to allow the bevor to be rigidly secured to the breastplate. The upper edge and sides of the bevor, down to the level of the shoulders, are fitted with twenty-two of an original twenty-four round-headed lining-rivets with circular internal washers retaining fragments of a leather lining-band. Except for the lowest one on each side, the rivets are arranged in pairs. They are replaced throughout. A further rivet-hole at the centre of the throat probably served to secure a lining-band across the neck. The neck is decorated with a pair of widely spaced incised lines. Bought together with the sallet M.4A-1939


History note: Sold from the collection of Duke Victor von Ratibor of Schloss Grafenegg, by Gallerie Fischer, Lucerne, 2 September 1933, lot 10, pl. 9, for SF. 3,000-00. Lent to the Fitzwilliam Museum by Major H. D. Barnes, O.B.E., F.S.A., August 1936.

Legal notes

Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum, National Art-Collections Fund and Mr E. Evelyn Barron, M.A., L.L.G., Peterhouse

Measurements and weight

Depth: 18 cm
Height: 27 cm
Weight: 1.46 kg
Width: 25.6 cm

Relative size of this object

25.6 cm27 cm18 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1939-07-12) by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


Late 15th century
Production date: circa AD 1490


South German

The bevor is bright with light patination and score-marks of a buffing-wheel overall. The metal shows a vertical crack to the left of centre of the lower half, and some delamination at the right shoulder. Some small marks and gouges at the right edge of the lower half might conceivably be the result of impact from the point of an opponent's lance.

This type of helmet was very popular in the second half of the 15th century and was either worn on its own or with a bevor, a separate piece of armour covering the chin and the front of the neck, as here. The bevor was essential when this type of helmet was used for a type of jousting on horseback called, in Germany, the Scharfrennen, which was contested in an open field using sharp lances.

Components of the work

Lining-band composed of leather ( fragments) Decoration Parts Upper Half

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed in one-piece with a high medially-ridged upper half shaped to the chin and neck, and a deep lower half extending down the chest; hammered, shaped, riveted, with incised lines and bevelled decoration
Patinating Forming

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.4B-1939
Primary reference Number: 18368
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 14 April 2021 Last processed: Thursday 15 April 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Bevor" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-05-28 01:45:23

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Bevor |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-05-28 01:45:23|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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